Monthly Archives

March 2009

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The Stories Behind Abandoned Art

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I always look at the frames in thrift stores. Sometimes you’ll find a great one, you never know. Oftentimes you’ll find them, all dusty in their original plastic wrap with a price tag from the 1980s. Sometimes they’ll still have art in them, which was the case with this find. A nice print of a weathered door, matted and all. But the most interesting thing was the inscription on the back:

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Beyond every storm lies a new sky, with open horizons and endless possibilities. However you choose to travel, wherever you decide to go, may your journey be safe and filled with everything you desire in life. Follow your heart and be true to yourself and the world is yours! Best of luck on your journey, Nicole, wherever it may take you. Your friend forever, Scott

I’m curious. What happened to Nicole and Scott? Are they on the outs? Why did Nicole get rid of the nice gift? And where was she going — somewhere where frames or sharp objects weren’t allowed? LAX? Prison, perhaps?

Whatever happened, I will toast to Scott’s great sentiment. Dear readers, may your journey be safe and filled with everything you desire in life! Now let’s clink glasses.

Fashion Forward: It’s a Wrap


There was a period of a year when I wore cardigans like it was my job. This was in Myrtle Beach, where shopping was limited because most stores stocked clothing only for 80-year-old retirees who recently purchased beachfront property, not twentysomething hotshots who wanted to look age-appropriate. I would say I totally rocked the geriatric cardigan look, though, almost to the point of retro goddess status.

I’ve since put away most of my traditional cardigans to make way for more trendy threads. A girl cannot dress like she’s going to the sock hop for the rest of her life, now, can she? But she also cannot go cardigan-free! No, that wouldn’t do!

The ubiquitous wrap is the perfect middle ground for a cardigan junky. Just the right amount of cardigan “flavor” but without the oh-so-stodgy buttons. The wrap is to the cardigan what the bra was to the corset. Look, I’m even doing SAT-level comparisons for the damn thing. Now I just need to buy one. Help me decide which one.

The plain Janes

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The patterned Patsys

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Yellow Art

Husband and I were feeling creative, so we each took a turn at making some spontaneous modern art. The idea is to sit down and move your hand. Create something off the top of your head with no preconceived notions. We used Photoshop (less messy, plus an “erase” button for missteps a canvas wouldn’t forgive). After we were done, we stepped back and gave a take on what each other’s art “meant.”

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Untitled by V. Morsse

H’s interpretation: You see how your edges aren’t hard? They’re flexible, expanding outward, as if reaching out, wanting more. It means you’re a creative person that is constantly wanting to learn and expand as a person. The blue circle in the middle has a hard outside edge, it’s unchangeable. That’s the core of who you are.

V’s explanation: I was thinking about the emotion of realizing you’re not invincible. You can be a bright, shining star, but there will always be an obstacle to hold you back in this cruel world.

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Difference of Perspective by H. Morsse

V’s interpretation: Thoughts aren’t just right (white), wrong (black) or compromises (gray). Some are completely new, innovative and forward-thinking (yellow). These are the thoughts that form the future.

Husband’s explanation: The white rectangle can only think in “white,” completely engulfed in himself. The black rectangle can only think in “black.” They’ll stay that way forever, unaffected by the yellow around them. They are both small, while the big one is gray. He can see both the “white” and “black” because he is bigger. But all three are so engulfed in themselves that they can’t see the beauty that surrounds them, thus they will never change.

Photoshoot: Mojave Desert, Part 2

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Imagine, if you will, driving down the highway at 80 mph, possibly more. Then abruptly pulling into the shoulder and slamming on the brakes at the slightest suggestion of a cool photograph. This is my kind of photoshoot!

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When we first entered the Mojave, it was party cloudy, highly windy. After driving for an hour, the clouds took over and cast this bluish green tint across the desert floor. Check out the tonal difference in the first photo compared with the other two, for example.

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Have you ever seen such big, fluffy clouds emerge from the horizon? Well, now you have.

See Part 1 of the photoshoot here. The third and final installment is coming later this week.

Guns N Roses

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I was re-watching “Pineapple Express” (hilarity!) when I noticed this great vase in one of the scenes. At first I just thought, “Great design!” and “Axl Rose!” almost simultaneously, but when I went on my online search to find said vase, I noticed an obvious symbolism to the piece.

Make flowers, not war. When life gives you guns, shoot roses instead.

I realize there was no great philosophy behind the band’s name (it’s just a mishmash of two bands: L.A. Guns featuring Slash and Hollywood Rose featuring Axl). But wouldn’t it be nice if there were?

OK, before I get too peaced-out, lemme just say one more time: Yay for an awesome vase! Here are some Etsy finds along the same theme:

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Earrings by Love and Lust + Hoodie by Supapun

Judging a Book by Its Cover

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You like that? That’s my prototype for my brilliant debut novel. Sure, I may be missing a few steps (er, a polished ending and a book deal), but I have a clear vision of the cover design. This is a first impression and, no matter what they say about never judging a book by its cover, it matters.

“Oh, but I don’t judge a book by its cover,” you might protest. Phooey, I say to you! That’s right, phooey. You’re honestly telling me that, on the search for a sci-fi thriller, you picked up “The Bronzed and Bold” with an airbrushed Fabio on the front and somehow expected space expeditions and laser guns? Didn’t think so.

However, I’d like to suggest that genre novels need not look so predictable. Fabio can put his shirt back on. Creepy shadows on horror novels, now that’s not original, either. This is where good design comes in. Here, a few websites that champion innovative book design:

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Browse a library of great book covers, including
the three above, over at Bookcover Archive.

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Read about the process of creating great book covers, including this James Bond collection, from the designers themselves over at FaceOut Books.

The Thriftster: Toucan Sam?

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We were taking some time off the Strip to do some thrifting. Husband was perusing the books for a good 45 minutes, so Dad and I had some time to scan the store. That’s when I spotted this little guy for $1.

“It’s Toucan Sam,” Dad noted.

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I have to agree that the beady eyes are similar. And what’s that smell, that fruity scent? All of a sudden I’m craving some orange, lemon and cherry. Great. Now I can’t look at my wooden friend without thinking of Froot Loops. Thanks a lot, Dad.

Open Letter to Peter Doherty

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Pete, Pete. Or is it Peter now? We go back a long way, you know, back to The Libertines and Babyshambles and jail and Kate Moss and robbing your bandmate Carl and jail. I mean, really, what am I thinking hanging around you as long as I have? You’re nothing but trouble, man! Just look at your Wikipedia entry. It reads like a rapsheet.

Every time I turn around, someone’s telling me to get out before I get hurt, that a ne’er-do-well like you will just break my heart, but each time you manage to draw me back in with your rambling melodic tunes and oh-well attitude. It’s like you are a magnet and I am steel.

So you came out with your first solo album, eh? I wanted to hate it. I wanted to have a reason to finally cut the cord with you before I ended up burying a hooker in the desert with you or something, but you did it again. Another great album! Granted, you waltzed in like you’ve been on a 12-day gambling bender, running on nothing but Coke and Chiclets. You look like you scraped yourself out of the gutter just in time to don an Amish hat, prop yourself on a chair and strum absentmindedly on your strung-out guitar. But I get it. I’ve been there before. Sometimes it just takes too much effort to locate the wire cutters. And I dig that.

Your sound is in huge juxtaposition to how you started out in The Libertines, you know? Very few people could hang on for this ride, when you started out as a shiny rocker and turned into rocky swingset. But I’m sitting in the passenger seat, and I’m not getting out till we reach the final destination.

Yours truly,
V

Abstract Design + Movie Posters = Brilliant

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Be still my heart. An artist who mixes movies (how I love thee) with abstract design (let me count the ways)! Be prepared to swoon while searching the archives at Film the Blanks. Seriously, I spent nearly half an hour with my mouth agape, gushing over the illustrations while willing my cranium to guess which original film posters were being deconstructed and re-imagined in a minimal way.

Psst: If you’re a movie buff and want to really impress your pals, you might consider buying a screenprint of your favorite abstract. Film the Blanks launches its store tomorrow.

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There are so many good posters, it was difficult to pick out just a handful to showcase here. Can you guess them all?*

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The two above are on my short list for best flicks of all time. Swoon.

*The cheat sheet is in the comments.

Fashion Forward: Feather Earrings

I’ve been a sucker for all things feathers lately. I have a feather necklace and feather hair accessories. It only stands to reason that I would want to add feather earrings to my arsenal. No self-respecting “bird” would want small feathers, no. I say the bigger the better!

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I’ve got a major crush on these gorgeous looks by Noémiah Bijoux. You’d do well to buy anything by this Montreal-based jewelry maker. She really has her pulse on the perfect blend of trendy and timeless, classy style.

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For a more bohemian look, Bones and Things has you covered. And if it’s whimsy you’re looking for, head over to Bionic Unicorn.